Dental caries is one of the most common and prevalent dental diseases in the world today. It is considered an infectious pathology due to the fact that different types of bacteria are involved during its development. When a tooth is affected by caries, the bacteria demineralize, that is, they destroy the hard tissues that form the tooth.
Depending on the advance of the caries, the lesion may be more or less superficial. Caries can damage only the outermost layer of the tooth, the enamel, but it can continue to advance to damage more internal tissues such as the dentin and, finally, the dental pulp, i.e. the nerve of the tooth.
Symptoms and causes of dental caries
Depending on the degree of evolution of the caries, the size and depth, it is possible that symptoms may appear from very weak pain or discomfort to very acute or disabling, accompanied by abscesses, phlegmons, and even fever. Generally, the closer the caries is to the dental pulp, the more painful and symptomatic it tends to be.
In dentistry we consider that the cause of dental caries could be designated as the effect of three factors: sugars, the degree of sugar we ingest; bacteria and the predisposition of a person to develop caries.
There are other types of causes by which the nerve of the tooth can be affected, as in the case of trauma, i.e. blows to the teeth, generated by sports accidents, children, traffic accidents, etc. These can also produce pain and emergency situations that require immediate attention.
Last but not least, there are the non-bacterial destructive processes or, in other words, tooth wear. Tooth decay may be due to physiological factors due to age or pathological factors, caused by habits or “manias” such as aggressive brushing; excessive use of highly erosive toothpaste; nail biting, called onychophagia, or bruxism, the movement of grinding and clenching the teeth. Often, the loss of tooth tissue is so noticeable that it even affects the dental pulp originating different clinical symptoms such as tooth sensitivity, pain produced when taking cold things, sugary foods, acids, etc; pain or phlegmons.